A Tweedle’s Eternal Silence

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What happens when a Tweedle dies?

It can think and feel. Due to variations in grown brain cells, Tweedles even appear to have their own personalities, so does it have a soul?

What Tweedles do have is a partially organic brain. Their ‘brains’ consist of artificially grown living brain cells. These brain cells are shut inside a protective casing that keeps them in a sterile, stasis-like environment so they don’t decay naturally. These cells are linked up to a microscale CPU, both of which are kept functional by a battery that utilizes nuclear fusion on a very small scale. All of these combine to form the mind of a Tweedle.

Surely everything that makes up a Tweedle’s sense of self is part of its mind. So if it had a soul, maybe such a thing would exist in its mind?

Do we even have souls, or are we just a product of our own minds?

Assuming only living creatures have souls, could a Tweedle ever be alive in the first place?

In the fictional world they inhabit, Tweedles are considered as an artificial life form. They can move, respond to stimuli and repair parts of themselves. Although Tweedles don’t have the knowledge, they theoretically could build new Tweedles. They have quite a few of the scientific characteristics of being alive, but do they count as living things?

And are we ourselves actually alive, or just biological machines like the Tweedles?

Tweedle and Chain

Tweedle and Chain

If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you’ve probably noticed that there are a lot of pictures of Tweedles interacting with chains. Chains in my artwork are symbolic of the master/servant relationship Tweedles have with their creators.

Because Tweedles can act fairly autonomously, they are often seen hanging from the chain or holding onto it, but never actually bound to it. They could easily let go of the chains, but are afraid to do so because they are built with an emotional attachment to their master; an unintentional but useful glitch in their creation.

When a Tweedle fails as a servant and is unable to return to them, it loses this emotional attachment and essentially becomes free. Without a true sense of what it means to be free, most Tweedles that have reached this freedom don’t know how to cope. Some wander aimlessly, some try to find a new master, and some simply stop working.

In this painting it is not entirely clear whether or not the Tweedle is hanging from the chain or standing on the ground holding onto it. For me this represents the lack of control the creators actually have on their creations. This could be further interpreted as the lack of control a higher being or God might actually have on humanity.

As I have quite a few canvas boards at the moment, I’ll be making a series of these paintings, using the Tweedles to explore themes such as free will, servitude, identity, and the problems of mind, body, soul and death.

Tweedle Blueprints

As the post’s title suggests, I have indeed posted the blueprints of a Tweedle. It is all written in the alphabet I created, which can be seen in my sketchbook photos. The paper is A4 printer paper that has been stained and burned. I then drew with ink pens and coloured it in with watercolours.

 

Also, I wanted to include a photo of my studio wall space with the aforementioned sketchbook photos but forgot to take a picture, so here it is:

Studio space

Professional Site

As you can probably tell by the title, I’ve set up a new more professional site for my artwork:

Screeeenshot of New site

(Here’s a link to it if you want to check it out: danielforrestsmith.wordpress.com)

Up until now, The Art Frog has been both my blog and my professional site, but now I can use this site solely as a blog and keep my other site formal.

I’d really appreciate feedback on my professional site and would love to know what you think! :-)

New Sketchbook

Since my old sketchbook’s full, I now have a new one where I’m exploring oriental art and testing all kinds of techniques and ideas.

 

The sketchbook itself is handmade from Nepal so it fits with the oriental theme throughout it. Some of the writing inside is from a unique alphabet I designed, which is supposed to look like a mix of western and eastern languages, to use in my artwork. The printed pictures stuck into the sketchbook (as seen above) are an ink painting by Tani Buncho and ‘The Great Wave off Kanagawa’ by Hokusai.

I hope you enjoyed looking at the sketchbook photos and thanks for reading!

Blogging

Not everyone is a blogger. At the moment this is true of me. Maybe I was a blogger once, but currently I’m not. You can probably tell from my complete lack of posts since January that I’ve taken a huge break from blogging. Each time I tried to post something, I kept procrastinating and putting it off. I didn’t know what to post. What I should write about. Which of my photographs to use…

It’s taken me until late March to finally post something. From this blogging break, I’ve learned a couple of things:

  • Blogging can be addictive and can be hard to stop.
  • When you do stop blogging it can be so very incredibly hard to start again.
  • For whatever reason my best creative writing happens between the hours of 1:00am and 3:00am when I should probably be sleeping.

I also learned an interesting truth about myself and my blog.

The truth that, currently, I am merely an artist pretending to be a blogger. I am not the blogging type, or at least not yet.

The reason I am posting today is that, up until now, I’ve had writer’s block concerning my book-in-progress. I have been trying to write a story about my Tweedles for ages but couldn’t figure out where it was going until recently. As this writer’s block has now passed I feel that I can write again, both the story and on my blog.

Instead of trying to force myself to write once a week during the weekend, I will post whenever it feels right to do so. I want my posts to feel more natural, rather than photos of kittens because I couldn’t think of what else to put on here.

My posts may be a little more irregular now, but I shall try to have at least one post a week. Perhaps I can become a real blogger with enough posts. :-)

Stay tuned for my next post where I’ll be showing you some pictures of my new sketchbook!

Forlorn Dreams of Immortality

This is a piece on the self preservation instinct and its eventual futility due to the inescapable nature of death.

A bird reaches towards a key to unlock a padlock on its leg. As the bird flies towards the key, the chain is pulled and the key moves further away.

There is a bit of slack in the part of the chain resting on the floor, giving hope that the key might be reachable after all.

Unfortunately, even if the bird could ever reach the key, it is stuck in a room with neither doors nor windows. Other than the chain, the lock and the key, the room is empty.

No matter what the creature attempts to achieve, it would eventually die of starvation or thirst.

The true message of the piece is intentionally unclear and left open to your interpretation. I’d love to hear what you think of it and thank you for reading!

Pocket-sized Paintings

You might have seen photocopies of these paintings from my last post, stuck into my sketchbook. In these paintings, I’ve tried to further develop my painting skills on a small scale. The canvases used for these paintings are approximately 10 x 10 cm, with a depth of 2.5 cm. Below is my very first self portrait using acrylics, loosely inspired by Oscar Wilde’s ‘The Portrait of Dorian Gray’. Following that painting is a small scene that takes inspiration from a German legend about a man called Faust who sold his soul.

I may be good at landscapes and abstract paintings on such a size, but I haven’t had much practice with portraiture and figurative drawing until now. I’d love to know what you think of my recent paintings. Any comments or advice would be greatly appreciated, and thanks for reading!

The Time has Come to Talk of Many Things…

 “Of shoes and ships and sealing-wax, of cabbages and kings…”

– the Walrus from ‘Through the Looking-Glass’ by Lewis Carroll.

A lot has happened in the last month.

  • In my fine art course, I’ve been studying and memorizing about 60 images (which means learning the works of art, their artists and the image’s backgrounds) for a slide test, working hard to meet assessment deadlines and completed an essay on AWN Pugin and his views on architecture.
  • I’ve met an amazingly wonderful girl called Eve, who is also an aspiring artist. :-) <3
  • The kittens now have names; ‘Millie’ and ‘Sebastian’ and are growing into very happy, hyper cats.
  • As a result of having cats in the house my whole family (myself included) has contracted ringworm, which is very itchy!

Most of the work we have done as students at the college are exploratory, and that there are very few finished works of art. There’s a lot of stuff involving sketchbooks and note taking. I’ve found it strange that for all the work we do as students, it seems to amount to very little actual art, although that will probably change in the second semester. Anyhow, assessments are taking place next week, so I won’t be able to show you most of my works until next Friday or the Monday that follows it. However, I do have a few scanned images of pages from one of my sketchbooks before I handed it up, which you can see below:

During my first semester, I believe that I’m already starting to develop my ideas and I’m much more sure and confident about the sort of artwork I want to produce. In my personal artwork, I think I am forming two main subject matters:

  1. the first being work concerning my Tweedles,
  2. the second being an exploration of themes, including immortality, demons, angels and the supernatural.

It’s been an insightful and illuminating few months and I’m really enjoying myself at art college! As we now approach the middle of December, I want to wish all of you the happiest of holidays as Christmas approaches! Thank you for reading!

Happy Halloween!

This year I improved the costume I had last year and went as the Mad Hatter (again).

Below; the hat is the finished version of the one I posted a while ago and there is also my own attempt at making a tailcoat.

I tried to take a photo of myself in costume using a mirror, but the lighting in the photo below wasn’t very good. I tried to fix it when I uploaded it but couldn’t fix it properly, however I kept the resulting picture because it looked fairly spooky anyway!

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Hope you had a Happy Halloween!

And Now for Something Completely Different…

In college over the last few weeks we’ve been experimenting with techniques, without focusing on creating a finished product. I would post them… but they are under assessment now, so when I get the chance, I’ll put them up on this blog. With Halloween approaching, I’ve been working on a costume… which will also appear on this blog soon. (Probably around the time of Halloween) But today, I wanted to show you some pictures of the two newest members of the family:

The kitten on the left is called Millie, but the grey doesn’t have a name yet.

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What do you think this cat’s name should be?

Multimedia – My Second Short Film

Here is the other film for my multimedia class using Final Cut Pro 10. Like the last film, the footage, frames and music is all my own. Unfortunately it has come up much lighter than it was originally. Everything else seems to be the same as when I made it.

This piece is titled “Birth of a Tweedle” and is about 2 to 3 minutes long. Enjoy!

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